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Echelon Bar and Bistro

Echelon Bar and Bistro

4, Church Street
Ormskirk, Lancashire,
L39 3AN
07731 384 794

Friday 8th May 2008

We were celebrating my daughter's birthday, so Marg and I took her and her husband to Echelon. Marg and my daughter had looked in on the place a few weeks back when on a shopping trip to Ormskirk, and they thought it was worth a trip.

On arrival, I was a little nonplussed: it was more like a bar than a restaurant - and I was decidedly relieved that when Marg had booked, she had been assured that we would have a booth - the alternative seemed to be bar-stools at tall, er, bars.

The waitress was quite busy and acknowledged us as soon as she saw us. I was getting even more worried when it seemed to take an inordinate amount of time before she could attend to us.

We were shown to a white leather upholstered booth which was amply proportioned for the four of us. The atmosphere, although a little on the noisy side, was, as some would put it: "buzzing". A large plasma screen in the far corner was showing something to do with fashion and there was music (from a radio?) playing. The place was quite full with (what seemed to me to be) young(ish) people. I commented that Marg and I were probably the oldest people there.

Our waitress turned out to be efficient and friendly, without being intrusive. We ordered drinks, and I quizzed her over what Gins they had. She was about to go and get the full list when I asked her to just get me the Tanqueray with the highest alcohol content. I find that I prefer the taste of the stronger versions - especially Blue Sapphire 47% and Tanqueray 47.3% (?). Funnily, I prefer bog-standard Gordons at 37% over the Blue Sapphire 37%.

Starters.

I ordered smoked haddock fish cakes. Other orders were the wild mushrooms sauteed in garlic and white wine and cream Wild Mushrooms on Bloomersauce, on toasted bloomer, topped with parmesan, and bread and olive selection.

As is our wont we each sampled the other's dishes, and we were all pleased - however, my favourite was the mushrooms - they were very tasty and well presented.

 

 

 

 

Main courses.

I was torn between Sea Bass and Goosnargh duck, so plumped for the Lamb Shank! I didn't notice that it was served with green beans, and ordered a side of the beans as well. Perhaps the waitress should have noticed and commented?Chicken stuffed with Brie

Marg selected the chicken breast stuffed with Brie and "sun blushed tomatoes" on a Verde mash with Bearnaise sauce.

Fillet of steak and the Duck were the other orders. Sauteed potatoes and chiunky chips as sides.

My daughter was going through a "Pink" phase, so a bottle of rose (Pinot Grigio Blush Sartori) was unavoidable. For the rest of us, a bottle of Ch. LaCroix St. Emillion 2004.

My lamb was tender and tasty - but no more so than I would have expected from any vacuum-packed offering. This isn't meant as a criticism, or a suggestion that the lamb was anything other than fresh - perhaps more a recognition that vacuum-packs are pretty acceptable these days. Nevertheless, I would have appreciated something a little more out of the ordinary.

Marg's chicken was good - and I found the tomatoes added just the right amount of piquancy and moisture - not to mention colour. The mash was good.

The fillet steak was good if not exceptional and the duck, requested "pink", was ever so slightly overdone (though not too far to complain).

This all perhaps sounds a little too critical. The fact is that we all enjoyed every aspect of the meal - it's a nice place, the atmosphere was very pleasant and the service excellent. The food could do with some added "oomph" but that would take it into another bracket and may have unintended consequences.

Desserts.

Marshmallow Cheesecake with Strawberries.Afogato: Ice Cream drizzled with Espresso

I asked whether they had plain vanilla ice-cream ("Of course!") so I added a shot of espresso to the order and rustled myself up an "Afogato" - drizzle the ice cream with the espresso - lovely !

Coffees

Oh, and my daughter blagged a cocktail out of me as well - a "Sagashieldsy" - based on a Mojito, a measure of rum, fresh raspberries, mint, lime and brown sugar topped with soda.

The total, at just short of 160, was not exorbitant - though I wait with bated breath for the day when my kids treat /me/ :~)

Recommended.

Sandro & Marg

 

Eatanddrink Ratings

Echelon Bar and Bistro

Total Score: 75%
Quality: Good
Service: Exceptional
Facilities: Average
Ambience: Average
Value: Good

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On The Menu

Fish & Seafood
Meat, Poultry & Game
Wines & Spirits
Beers & Lagers
Tea & Coffee
Cheese & Dairy
Herbs, Spices, Aromatics & Colourings
Chocolate, Sweets & Candy

 

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What hunger is in relation to food, zest is in relation to life.
(Bertrand Russell)

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